The Cleveland Guardians got a much-needed win as they defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-2 at Target Field Tuesday night.
Despite an early 1-0 lead courtesy of Bo Naylor homering for the second straight game, this was a game that was in doubt shortly after. Gavin Williams exited after pitching just 1 inning. Williams slipped on one of his deliveries in the bottom half of the 1st inning and did not come out for the 2nd inning. Williams is expected to be fine, but manager Terry Francona ultimately opted to remove him from the game. Hunter Gaddis would pitch 3 innings following Williams' exit, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Cleveland would add on two more runs in the 3rd and 4th innings, increasing their lead to three. These runs would prove pivotal as the Twins cut into the bottom of the 4th on a Royce Lewis home run. Luckily, Lewis's streak of consecutive games with a grand slam came to an end, as this was only a solo shot. Will Brennan would drive in Andres Gimenez in the 7th to make it a 4-1 game, restoring their three-run lead.
Emmanuel Clase would come on in the 9th to close the game. There was a slight hiccup as Clase gave up a solo home run to Michael A. Taylor with one out in the inning, but he was able to induce Eduoard Julien to ground out and Jorge Polanco to foul out to end the game.
This was a must-win game for the Guardians. Cleveland has a slight chance of being relevant down the stretch. For that to happen, they have to win games against the American League Central division-leading Minnesota Twins. So far Cleveland has split the first two games with Wednesday's rubber match being a crucial matchup for the Guardians. Minnesota holds a six-game lead in the division after the first two games of the series. The Guardians have the chance to cut into it further on Wednesday in Cleveland for their final three matchups of the year.